McCutchen says he's not 100 percent, but 'good enough' to play
MILWAUKEE — Andrew McCutchen appeared to take his time going around the bases after hitting a ninth-inning home run Sunday against Francisco Rodriguez, raising concerns about aggravation of the damage to his rib cartilage.
McCutchen concedes he's not completely healthy, but he believes he's healthy enough.
“Well, I'm definitely not 100 percent,” McCutchen said. “I think that's obvious, but I'm good enough to hit a home run in the ninth against their closer.”
McCutchen was asked if his pain has increased or decreased in playing with the injury now for just less than a week.
“It's good enough to play. It's good enough to swing,” said McCutchen, who homered twice over the weekend. “That's probably how it's going to be the rest of the season. It's going to be good enough.”
Said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle: “He's OK. I think there are times when it might tug or grab a little … and we encourage him to take it easy. He said: ‘I'm OK. It's every once in a while I feel something.' And that was earlier before the last at-bat. There's still some strength there.”
Alvarez could return to 3rd in ‘15
While he likely will be relegated to sharing first base for the rest of this season, Pedro Alvarez said last week he “absolutely” considers himself a third baseman in the long term. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday he also would like to see Alvarez slide back across the diamond next season.
“We'll certainly revisit it after the season,” Huntington said. “You have a guy that is capable of hitting .250 with 36 home runs and 100 RBIs and playing adequate defense (at third). For an organization to have (that asset), we are not ready to close the door on that long term.”
Huntington said the club has begun to put together an offseason plan to help Alvarez overcome his throwing woes. If Alvarez could return to third base, it would allow the club to employ Josh Harrison as a utility player, strengthening the club's depth and flexibility.
Can Alvarez bust out of platoon?
Alvarez earned a second straight start at first base Sunday, the first time he has started consecutive games at the position. Can Alvarez end the three-way platoon with a hot bat?
“Time will tell,” Hurdle said. “We are going to put the best team on the field every day.”
Hurdle is juggling Gaby Sanchez, Ike Davis and Alvarez in the starting lineup at first base. Alvarez has something neither Sanchez or Davis possess: elite power potential.
“You hope it's a flash of things to come,” Huntington said of Alvarez's two-homer game Saturday. “In a perfect world, you'd love for someone to step up and carry the load.”
The Pirates are 63-30 when Alvarez hits a home run in his career.
Huntington said the club continues to be aggressive in making waiver claims leading up to the Aug. 31 deadline, when players who clear waivers can be traded and are eligible to be added to a postseason roster.
“You have some (teams) the last couple of years that have waited to the last week to (send players through), and that's where we got Marlon Byrd a year ago,” Huntington said. “We are about to hit that final wave: those clubs that weren't sure if they were in or out and held onto their players.
“It could be an active period,” Huntington said. “I don't have a feel for if we'll get someone or not, but it won't be from a lack of claiming.”
Pimentel struggles in outing
Stolmy Pimentel was not impressive in his rehab outing Saturday, walking three and allowing a hit in a third of an inning for Double-A Altoona.
“Command wasn't efficient. Had a bunt play to make, didn't make it,” Hurdle said. “He threw 25 pitches, and it wasn't an efficient outing.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates SS prospect Tucker making progress after thumb surgery
- Pirates starting pitcher Morton fine-tunes his delivery after surgery
- Pirates sign 9 to yearlong deals; 3 going to arbitration
- Pirates shift times on 5 games, including rescheduling 2 fireworks nights
- Pirates’ Burnett aims to defy age curve
- For Pirates, NL Central test just got tougher
- Kang says he ‘can play better’ than Pirates current SS Mercer
- Pirates’ reaction mixed to the news of pitch clock in minor leagues
- Pirates notebook: For Holdzkom, a whole new world
- Pirates officially sign Korean shortstop Kang
- Korean star Kang could be financial windfall for Pirates